Ever wanted to be at the start of something new and explosive? Here is the one to bet on, a “brand new” boutique winery, Alyris Vineyards.
First a background about the ownership, property and the winemaker. The owners Ewan and Cyndie Downie purchased the property in June 2014. The vineyards were planted in 1996 under the supervision of Bob Egglehoff. Their goal is take this hillside property and cultivate handcrafted, limited production wines all which will be organically farmed. Secondly, Alyris is located 1,100 feet elevation on the eastern hillside of Mt George allowing for sun drenched growth and just east of the city of Napa. This area provides for the cool marine breezes in the evening. And lastly, they hired one of the best winemakers Rudy Zuidema with 25 years’ experience to work the vineyard from roots to exquisite dark wine – and everything in between being given his microscopic detailed attention.
Besides being “mountainous” with steep inclines, the soil is coarse and rocky making the vineyard “work hard” to produce their quality results (see picture). The rolling hills produce three distinct terrains. As Rudy states, this “allows rich long tannins, powerful fruit and a long aging acid profile”.
Today they are offering their two initial releases. First is the 100% Estate Cabernet Sauvignon using 100% French Oak barrels (60% new) and cave aged for 22 months. This wine is dark, sensual with a mouth filling viscosity similar to some of Napa’s best. Rudy’s comments are this allows “rich black currant, bing cherry and toasty brown sugar. The finish is long and fresh with rose pedal, pipe tobacco…” This has the potential to last up to 15 years but Rudy suggested 9-10 for optimal drinking.
The second wine they are offering is their 2014 Chardonnay from Carneros Region. It is aged 10 months in the cave with 50% new French Oak barrels. Per Rudy this produces “core flavors of peach, ripe fig and fresh lavender are held together with a rich and smooth structure that lasts through the finish of minerals, nutmeg and allspice”. The Chardonnay goes through a partial second malolactic fermentation and will last 3-5 years.
These are their initial offerings— a pair of Aces! In fact just last week, in the SF Chronicle blind wine tasting for Chardonnay’s (category over $42) which is the largest blind tasting with multiply judges, their Chardonnay came in third against some very prestigious and established Napa & Sonoma wineries. These means every judge ranked the Audition as a gold (the highest available). Very impressive for their inaugural release.
Today they are just launching their wine club and in store down the road in 2017, is a limited ultimate “Carnal” Cabernet Sauvignon to be released 2017. Contact them at their website and don’t miss getting in on this opportunity.